Orchid to take over Karalex Pharma

Orchid, an India-based company, creates this way its presence in the front-end US market.

Orchid Chemicals & Pharmaceuticals has entered into an agreement to acquire US-based generic marketing and sales services company Karalex Pharma through an all-cash deal for an undisclosed amount.

Orchid is an India-based pharmaceutical company involved in manufacturing, development and marketing of diverse bulk actives, formulation and nutraceuticals.

Through this acquisition, Orchid has created its presence in the front-end US market and will be able to reach its generic products to the US customers directly.

Raghavendra Rao, managing director of Orchid, said: "This will provide a strong commercial US-based sales capability to Orchid, paving the way for synergistic returns from our upcoming and long term strategic generic pharmaceutics pipeline comprising key first-to-file and paragraph-IV products.

"This move also endows Orchid, for the first time end-to-end coverage capability of the entire generic pharmaceutical business cycle from the product development to product sales and would enable Orchid to internalise value."

The transaction is expected to close by this month to customary closing conditions.

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Is anyone prepared to solve the NHS funding crisis?

As long as the political taboo on raising taxes endures, the service will be in financial peril. 

It has long been clear that the NHS is in financial ill-health. But today's figures, conveniently delayed until after the Conservative conference, are still stunningly bad. The service ran a deficit of £930m between April and June (greater than the £820m recorded for the whole of the 2014/15 financial year) and is on course for a shortfall of at least £2bn this year - its worst position for a generation. 

Though often described as having been shielded from austerity, owing to its ring-fenced budget, the NHS is enduring the toughest spending settlement in its history. Since 1950, health spending has grown at an average annual rate of 4 per cent, but over the last parliament it rose by just 0.5 per cent. An ageing population, rising treatment costs and the social care crisis all mean that the NHS has to run merely to stand still. The Tories have pledged to provide £10bn more for the service but this still leaves £20bn of efficiency savings required. 

Speculation is now turning to whether George Osborne will provide an emergency injection of funds in the Autumn Statement on 25 November. But the long-term question is whether anyone is prepared to offer a sustainable solution to the crisis. Health experts argue that only a rise in general taxation (income tax, VAT, national insurance), patient charges or a hypothecated "health tax" will secure the future of a universal, high-quality service. But the political taboo against increasing taxes on all but the richest means no politician has ventured into this territory. Shadow health secretary Heidi Alexander has today called for the government to "find money urgently to get through the coming winter months". But the bigger question is whether, under Jeremy Corbyn, Labour is prepared to go beyond sticking-plaster solutions. 

George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.